Luas platforms left inaccessible for disabled commuters for more than a 1,000 hours

Source // Transport for Ireland

Luas elevators have been out of order for the equivalent of up to 82 days in the last two years.  Lifts at the Dundrum stop have been out of service for a combined time of 1,966 hours since 2016, according to data obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.

Three out of the eight stops were out of order for the equivalent of a month or more from 2016 to 2018.

The Phibsborough stop which opened last December as part of the new Cross City service has been broken down for the equivalent of 17 days.

Dervla Brophy, a spokesperson for the Luas, said: “All the lifts on the system are checked daily … regrettably lifts do break down and one of the main reasons is vandalism … there is currently a case before the court in relation to vandalism.”

In cases when an elevator is out of service the Luas will recommend that members of the public who require the lifts use the next accessible stop. In the most extreme circumstances this could lead to individuals having to travel 2.1 kilometres between Cabra and Broombridge and vice versa.

James Cawley, the policy officer for the Independent Living Movement Ireland (ILMI) understands personally the setbacks out of order lifts can have on people with disabilities.

“When elevators are out of service this makes the transport system inaccessible immediately [for people with disabilities],” Mr Cawley said. “In instances where this occurs over a long period of time it can contribute to social isolation within the disabled community,” he continued.

Cawley voiced ILMI’s concern on the measurements being taken by the Luas transport system to maintain a reliable service for those dependent on the lifts. “It is important that we just don’t focus on the repairing of these elevators but what could be done to prevent [vandalism] happening on a regular basis?”

According to the ILMI, disabled people are significantly more likely to be at high risk of social isolation. The research, carried out by the National Disability Authority, found that 32% of disabled people are at risk of being socially isolated.

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